Coffee table books should be more than just an item of décor. Your guests should be captivated by the title and enthralled by the contents. By their very nature, they should be a visual feast. They should also represent you and your interests. Need some help picking and choosing some choice tomes for your table?
1. Artists in Love by Veronica Kavass
See the work of 29 couples; all were artists and all were influenced by their relationships and dare we say their love for each other.
2. Satchmo: the Wonderful Life and Art of Louis Armstrong by Steven Brower
Take a peek at the life and art of Louis Armstrong in a collage format. Maybe a picture does say more than words in this case.
3. A Perfectly Kept House is a Sign of a Misspent Life by Mary Randolph Carter
A book on interior design that is both illuminating and may serve as inspiration (or a life lesson) at the same time.
4. Drawn Together by Aline and Robert Crumb
A duo autobiography of two cartoon artists. Despite the cartoony front cover, this is not the sort of book you should let kids read.
5. The Creativity of Ditko by Craig Yoe, Paul Levitz, Mykal Banta and Mike Gold
The creator of Spider-Man was actually a rather deep and interesting fellow and this book features some of his work.
6. The French Cat by Rachael Hale McKenna
Better than watching cat videos on You Tube. Is there any animal as glamorous or stylish as the French Cat?
7. Dignity by Dana Gluckstein
The name is misleading and a little self-congratulatory (from the writers perceptive), as this book is simply a collection indigenous tribe photos.
8. The Essential Dykes to Watch out for by Alison Bechdel
A long running comic strip.
9. The Art of Looking Sideways by Alan Fletcher
There are numerous theories of perception, which sadly we can never really prove or disprove, but this book attempts to explore some of them.
10. The Anatomy of Fashion: Why We Dress the Way We do by Colin McDowell
It is an interesting read on its own, but also a great piece for students of fashion.
11. Christian Louboutin by Christian Louboutin
A very well written book about fashion and shoes.
12. The Deep: the Extraordinary Creatures of the Abyss by Claire Nouvian
There are hundreds of thousands of creatures in the deep blue sea that are so far down they are allergic to light. Here you see space aged technology photographs of them.
13. The Map Book by Peter Barber
A look at the history of map making, which is quite a difficult topic to cover if you get into the nitty gritty.
14. Pictorial Webster’s: a Visual Dictionary of Curiosities by John M. Carrera
A look at some curiosities that are drawn as opposed to photographed. If you have read this book already, you may agree that what you are seeing is dubious if not made up, but how could we possibly know?
15. Los Angeles: Portrait of a City by David Ulin
A beautiful look at Los Angeles and the parts and situations you may not have seen.
16. In the American West by Richard Avedon
Richard is a famous photographer, though sadly most people under the age of 40 know his name from the Simpsons. In this book he photographed ordinary people in the America West.
17. The War: an Intimate History, 1941-1945 by Geoffrey C. Ward
A look at the world war between 1941 and 1945.
18. Posing Beauty: African American Images from the 1890s to the Present by Deborah Willis
A look at American women with African genes and how they have changed from the 1980s to now.
19. The Little Book of Big Words and How to Use Them by Andy Hughes
It is a very clever book full of words you can use and sound intelligent. It gives great examples on how to use them.
20. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
Out of all the books on the market, since its creation it has sold more copies than any other with the exception of the Bible.
21. Evolution by Patrick Gries and Jean-Baptiste De Panafieu
The similarities between completely different species' bone structures only helps show just how closely linked we all are as animals on this planet; where a guinea pig looks like a small hippo and a bear shares a lot in common with whales.
22. Flower by Andrew Zuckerman
It is amazing how many beautiful flower species there are in this world. This book features 150 of them.
23. Concrete by Leonard Koren
Pick it up and read it and you will see there is plenty to keep you interested.
24. Mapplethorpe by Robert Mapplethorpe
A collection of nudes and still lifes that are frankly a little creepy and unnerving in places by one of the greatest US photographers.
25. Frida Kahlo: Face to Face by Judy Chicago and Frances Borzello
A personal take from the feminist artist Judy Chicago.
26. Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen by Mary Norris
Laugh-out-loud descriptions of some of the most common and vexing problems in spelling, punctuation, and usage. Learn and laugh at the same time.
27. Max’s Kansas City: Art, Glamour, Rock and Roll by Steven Kasher
Take a look into the life and culture that existed at a certain time within the confines of Kansas City.
28. Monsters in the Movies by John Landis
A magnificent collection of 1,000 stills of everything monster and monster-like we've seen on screen.
29. The Endless City by Ricky Burdett
A statistical look at the problems that cities faced and are likely to face, though by what degree is always questionable.
30. 400 Photographs by Ansel Adams
Through the 20s, 30s and 40s, Ansel Adams took environmental photographs. Here you see 400 of his best works. It is a great book to pick up when look for inspiration for your work.
31. The Dilbert Principle by Scott Adams
One of a few books by the creator of the Dilbert books. It is an oddly realistic and humorous look at the life most of us lead.
32. On This Earth: Photographs from East Africa by Nick Brandt
We all like a nice picture of a bit of wildlife. Here you get to see artistic (and we hope un-staged) pictures of rare and endangered wild animals.
33. Phaidon Atlas of Contemporary World Architecture
It is not something you should read if you are not already “up” on this sort of thing, nevertheless it will impress your friends if seen on your coffee table.
34. Andy Warhol: 365 Takes
A collection of Andy’s works. It may not be to your taste (if you have any), but it will impress your more pretentious friends.